The Minister of Finance Mambureh Njie and the Vice Chairperson of the Saudi Fund for Development, Dr. Khalid S. Alkhudairy, signed a $92.5million funding agreement for the OIC, at a ceremony presided over by President Adama Barrow on 20th June 2019. The sum of 92.5 million dollars is availed to the Government of the Gambia by the Saudi Government and the Saudi Fund for Development, to embark on the following priority infrastructure projects:
a) construction of a 50 KM road network within the OIC concentrated area;
b) enhancement of the transmission and distribution network for the electricity grid;
c) enhancement of water production, treatment, and distribution; and
d) the construction of a new VIP Lounge at the Banjul International Airport.
According to a press statement from the Statehouse, the funding is meant for several priority infrastructure and energy projects that will facilitate the Gambia’s hosting of the OIC Summit in 2022; that among these projects is the construction of a 50 kilometre road network within the OIC concentrated areas; enhancement of the transmission and distribution network for the electricity grid; enhancement of water production, treatment and distribution; and the Construction of a new VVIP Lounge at the Banjul International Airport.
Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray who is also the Chairperson of the OIC Gambia Board, expressed profound thanks and appreciation for the generous support from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the King Salman Bin Faisal.
“Today’s signing ceremony is a milestone in the Gambia’s development strides to usher in a better public infrastructure portfolio, as we prepare to host the largest gathering of the Muslim Ummah, the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC),” she said.
Dr. Khalid S. Alkhudairy, the Vice Chairperson and Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development, explained that the fund is in four fold: two soft loans and two grants. He said the aim of the fund is to improve the living conditions of the beneficiary population of the Gambia.
Mamboury Njie, Gambia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs said within the thirty two years of the country’s membership of the Saudi Fund for Development, the bank has invested nearly $200 million in the areas of health, education, and infrastructure in the Gambia, amongst others. “Our membership has paid dividend today as the Fund impacts on the lowest of our population over the years. Social investment, Energy and infrastructure are priority areas of President Barrow’s National Development Plan (NDP),” Njie said, describing the current Managing Director as a true friend of the Gambia who helped facilitated in the country’s debt restructuring recently. He thanked the Bank for standing up for the country, by guiding it through stormy weather and providing resources when the country needed it most.
According to the OIC Gambia secretariat the occasion is a milestone in the Gambia’s development strides as it will usher in a better public infrastructure portfolio as we prepare to host the largest gathering of the Muslim Ummah.
The Procurement process is on course for the construction and execution of the projects indicated above.